Today the Virginia House of Delegates voted down the judicial nomination of Tracy Thorne-Begland for a judgeship to the Richmond General District Court. Thorne-Begland is a respected assistant prosecutor in the office of the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney. Had he been confirmed, Thorne-Begland would have been the first openly gay judge in Virginia.
The vote, along party lines, with all Republicans voting against Thorne-Begland’s nomination, was based on the sexual orientation of the candidate. Conservatives claimed that Thorne-Begland might be biased around ideas of sexual orientation, while heterosexuals can’t be.